Norwegian Cruise Line President Upbeat About the Industry
Speaking to Adam Ceserano, President of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), during a recent webinar, David Herrera, President of Norwegian Cruise Line, was upbeat about the industry’s post-pandemic recovery.
“Cruising is back,” Herrera declared, discussing the concept of “revenge travel” and how many people are choosing to take trips as an act of defiance after having to isolate and avoid travel during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID taught us a lot. But what are the two things that people miss the most? They miss doing what they really enjoy and miss spending time with their family and friends. And when you think about what a cruise does, what does a cruise do? It gives you the ability to do what you want.”
Highlighting the Caribbean cruise sector, Herrera noted the region is a crucial part of the industry. “The Caribbean is the origins of cruising,” he said.
Recognizing the region’s significance, Norwegian has set up home ports in Puerto Rico, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
“One of the things that’s appealing about having a Caribbean home port is it enables us to mix up the content, the port content, and provide our guests new and exciting experiences,” Herrera explained.
Unique experiences are what consumers consistently seem to be looking for, Herrera and Ceserano discussed.
“I think that you see a shift, especially when looking at the demographics. Millennials and Gen X are the fastest growing of the segments in the cruise market today,” Herrera said about changes in traveler spending patterns.
“They’re willing to pay for experiences. They’re not acquiring stuff to the same extent that the consumer has up until now. People are willing to pay for a unique experience. People are willing to take that helicopter ride. People are willing to go parasailing. People are willing to swim with the dolphins. People are willing to do stuff that, let’s be honest, they can tell their friends they did, and they put it on their Instagram. It’s an experience,” he added.